Keeping the race alive

Salvador Sostres & procreation

Re ex-president Pujol’s “stay away from our women” apartheid speech, here’s this morning’s column by Salvador Sostres, who has figured that the best way for a talentless dickhead to get ahead in contemporary Catalan journalism is as a women-hater, paedophile apologist (notorious article in Avui), and staunch Catalanist:

Pujol is completely right
Pujol has stated the obvious, and what he said could have been said by any other leader of any other country. There’s no question of it, it’s pure arithmetic. Franco already sent us all that immigration from the south with some very concrete political goals. A country is its people, and if there keep on being less Catalans and more Moroccans, in the end this country will stop being Catalonia and become Morocco. Obviously it is the minority that integrates. This has nothing to do with the right of everyone to make a life for himself, nor has it anything to do with racism or with the whole load of nonsense they’re directing at Pujol now, from Nazi to I don’t know what. It is not by chance that the PSOE has a million votes in Catalonia, as it follows a paradoxically Francoist strategy. (Or, not as paradoxically, because the idea of deactivating Catalonia as a nation is just as much Francoist as it is socialist. Hey, the socialists don’t kill us, there’s a lot to be thankful for because before it was all much more unpleasant. Thanks, socialists, thanks very much for not killing us.) In the end, the truth is that there is not much difference between forbidding Catalan and putting 12 million Senegalese into a country of 6 million Catalans. OK, I know that the proportions are not currently like this, but there will come a time, as Pujol explains, when the donkey’s back will not take any more. Countries with a state can bear all this much more calmly, principally because they have a strong, solid political structure that can legislate in one sense or another, control its borders with more or less rigour, impose these conditions or those on people who go to live there. But for Catalonia–which still doesn’t know if it is a nation, a national community or a historical nationality–the only recourse under these conditions and circumstances is to say what it can. I should insist–in order that righteous socialists understand the article–that this is not about confronting the “essence of the homeland” (as the cosmopolitans say) with the right to survive of immigrants but, as Pujol says, about being able to manage immigration both they and we have a right to survive. To me it doesn’t seem that difficult to understand. Particularly for those with an IQ of above 90.

This guy is so stupid and malevolent that it’s difficult to know where to start, but here are some issues:

  1. Where’s the evidence for the claim, oft-repeated in nationalist circles, that Franco encouraged immigration in order to ethnically cleanse Catalonia? What makes me suspect that this is a deliberate lie?
  2. Mr Sostres “Moorish flood” meme is racial propaganda at the level of the British National Party or the Klan. The Generalitat’s stats service is unreliable, but it only comes up with 117,000 Moroccans out of a total population of some six million.
  3. Politics 101 tells us that a country (or an autonomous region) does not change its name simply because of changes in the demographics. Albacete (= al-Basit) has always seemed pretty damn Spanish to me.
  4. What is worse than being a Nazi? Mr Sostres should tell us.
  5. Franco died 30 years ago, and at least half the population has no personal memory of his era. How long are Catalan fascists going to keep using a long-dead Spanish fascist to justify their sense of victimhood? Does political Catalanism have any substance or meaning without Franco?
  6. “The socialists don’t kill us…” Come on, even Franco shot only about 2,300 in Catalonia between 1939 and 1953 which, although terrible, is of a similar order of magnitude as the Catalan-on-Catalan purges after the 1936 revolution and in a different galaxy from anything perpetrated by your Stalins and Hitlers, or even your Castros and Saddams. The implication that the deepest desire of Spain is to exterminate Catalonia may seem good and heroic after a few beers with your mates, but just sounds like stupid nonsense to everyone else.
  7. General Franco and his good friend, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, may have difficulty finding 12 million Senegalese: Senegal’s estimated population is 11 million.
  8. No one is questioning Mr Sostre’s right to survive; indeed, the money spent by Catalanists at the Generalitat on funding journalists like him came to a large degree out of taxes paid by the immigrants whose labour put Catalan industry on its feet in the 60s and 70s. Isn’t it about time he went down on bended knees and thanked some Murcians?
  9. Fair’s fair: I have no trouble in accepting Mr Sostres’ suggestion that his IQ is sub-90.

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  1. Sostres shows his ignorance yet again (sinister, all this willful stupidity at the service of a rancid ethnocracy) on 28 August, writing on E-noticies that Franco banned the sardana – a myth long since dashed on these balding pages. It takes a good long scroll down the comments box until one finds ‘Pep, Barcelona’ exposing the lie.

  2. Leaving aside expat phobias and similar prejudice, the fact is that much decision-making during Francoism is still treated as a matter of state security, and not only by PP politicans, the implication being that disclosing hitherto classified information could call many widely accepted post-Franco truths into question and hence have an adverse impact upon ever-fragile Spanish unity. If things were as you and your readers maintain, why not then throw (secret) archive doors wide open and let historians do their work? Once again we go back to square 1, whereby Spain goes around the world prosecuting human rights violators whithout caring to put its own house in order in the first place. It’s a very untransparent democracy, to say the least, with standards lower than even those of the EU. Both Catalans and Basques, each endowed with radical/democratic/republican political traditions of their own, as opposed to most of Spain proper (a notion most “neutral” historians would not dispute) cannot help but be very aware of these contradictions.
    Besides, ethnic cleansing can be carried out by means other than all-out slaughter. After Franco’s victory most of the Catalan élite were either forced out of their jobs (i.e. in education, the media, etc.) or from their country altogether. They were replaced by Franco -and hence anti-Catalan and professionally extremely mediocre- faithfuls. This I would certainly call a ‘programme of forced hispanisation’.. wouldn’t you?

  3. Sostres is a bigger fascist than Franco ever was. Sostres’ ideology and style is the Catalan version of José Antonio and his friends. Franco didn’t give a shit about all the racial theory, stopped the falangists hispanising Catalunya, “just” wanted peace, stability and the chance to die in bed, which he managed.

  4. Sure thing, Sostres worse than Julius Streicher, Josef Goebbels and Albert Speer put together, Franco merly the senile sardana-hooked guardian angel of two-faced Catalonia, Gernika carpet bombed by evil Basque Nationalists and Orangeboel, or whatever the apprentice boy who runs this blog’s called an unbiased commentator of Catalan affairs…

    Do you work overtime at the Ministry of Truth during weekends now? must be the war

  5. Re. David’s comment “After Franco’s victory most of the Catalan élite were either forced out of their jobs (i.e. in education, the media, etc.) or from their country altogether. They were replaced by Franco -and hence anti-Catalan and professionally extremely mediocre- faithfuls.”
    Not necessarily so. A more accurate generalisation is that the moderate catalanista liberal elite were highly successful in winning commercial and media leverage during the Franco regime. Read Manuel Ortínez’s memoirs Una Vida Entre Burgeos for an insight into how Josep Vilarasau manoeuvred what would become La Caixa into pole poistion as a Spanish savings bank – owned then and now by middle class Catalans – and consider the editorial success of Destino in the years when it was edited by Josep Vergés senior, a catalanista liberal of the strongest stripe.
    When Paul Preston spoke at the British Institute in Barcelona in 1998, the most vocal Catalans in the audience were those who argued that the Catalan middle class did well under Franco.
    Republican academics and union activists were persecuted, of course, but many of today’s most comfortable Catalan families have been made-to-measure ‘chaqueteros’ for three generations.

  6. Sorry, mistyped the title of the Ortínez book: Una vida entre burgesos – Memòries (Edicions 62).
    Also on the topic of successful catalanistas during the Franco regime, historian Joan B. Culla’s main analysis of the the CiU party is that its successes since the 70s were based precisely on a brinksmanship which recognised the powerful commercial interests of Catalonia throughout Spain which would have been at risk under a declared separatist policy. Spain-Catalonia trading figures have borne this out throughout the C20.

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